NFL Week 16 Power Rankings

Dec 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) runs for a touchdown after catching a pass against the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

1.   Seattle Seahawks (12-2) - They can clinch the #1 seed and first-round bye with a win at home against Arizona this week. Their point differential of +175 leads the league and they are clearly the Super Bowl favorite.  Previous Rank: 1

2.   Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) - Anyone with Jamaal Charles on their fantasy team this week for the playoffs is incredibly happy. It was the first time that a player has had five touchdowns in a game since Clinton Portis did it against the Chiefs in 2003.  Previous Rank: 4

3.   Denver Broncos (11-3) - The loss of Welker allowed the Chargers to play the other Broncos receivers more physically and it made a huge difference. The perfect game-plan to beat Peyton? Keep him off the field as long as possible.  Previous Rank: 2

4.   Carolina Panthers (10-4) - Cam Newton and the Panthers could capitalize on the Saints’ loss to the Rams when they take on New Orleans at home next week. If Carolina wins, they would bump themselves into the #2 seed and knock the Saints down to a wild-card spot. The Panthers are 6-1 at home, so home field through the playoffs would be a huge advantage.  Previous Rank: 6

5.   New Orleans Saints (10-4) - They are 3-4 on the road and two of those losses came against significantly lesser teams in the Jets and Rams. If they don’t end up with home-field advantage through the playoffs, they may be in trouble.  Previous Rank: 3

6.   San Francisco 49ers (10-4) - They’ve won four in a row and Kaepernick is picking up right where he left off last year in connecting with Michael Crabtree. They locked up a playoff spot this week, but it will be interesting to see where they end up at the end of the regular season.  Previous Rank: 7

7.   Cincinnati Bengals (9-5) - The Bengals blew a chance to steal the #2 seed in the AFC from New England this week. A fourth-quarter push wasn’t enough to overcome a miserable start.  Previous Rank: 5

8.   New England Patriots (10-4) - The Patriots got lucky that the Bengals lost so they get to hold on to the #2 seed for now, but they have another tough match-up next week in Baltimore. A loss there could knock them out a first-round bye, which they desperately need to recover from all of their injuries.  Previous Rank: 8

9.   Arizona Cardinals (9-5) - After blowing their lead, they were able to bounce back and beat the Titans in OT. They are fighting hard for that playoff spot, and are only a game behind San Francisco, New Orleans, and Carolina. They need to upset the Seahawks in Seattle and then take on the ‘Niners in order to have a shot…  Previous Rank: 10

10.   Indianapolis Colts (9-5) - They’ve alternated winning and losing for seven weeks since coming off the bye. If they continue this trend, they’ll lose this week to Kansas City. They’ve already clinched their division so it doesn’t really matter, but it doesn’t bode well for the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 12

11.   Chicago Bears (8-6) - In his return, Jay Cutler went 22/31 for 265 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 Picks worth a 102.2 passer rating. The picks were typical-Cutler, but at least they were able to pull out a win in the fourth quarter.  Previous Rank: 11

12.   Philadelphia Eagles (8-6) - Nick Foles had more rushing yards than LeSean McCoy, with 41 on five carries. This offense can put up the points, but the defense is a huge liability that can only be fixed by a strong draft/free agency.  Previous Rank: 9

13.   San Diego Chargers (7-7) - Philip Rivers had every reason to be giddy on the Thursday Night Football post-game show after beating the Broncos at home. They had the perfect game-plan of keeping Peyton off the field by running the ball efficiently and often. The defense also played the Broncos receivers physically and forced consecutive three-and-outs.  Previous Rank: 14

14.   Miami Dolphins (8-6) - A huge win against New England sets up a late playoff push for Miami. They have a tie with Baltimore right now and lose because of their head-to-head recor, so they currently sit in the seventh seed, one out of the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 17

15.   Green Bay Packers (7-6-1) - They were down by 23 points at halftime but came back out and made the big plays necessary to pull out the upset win. While the playoffs still seem highly unlikely for them, the momentum may be enough to help them win out and leave their playoff chances up to fate.  Previous Rank: 18

16.   Baltimore Ravens (8-6) - It wasn’t pretty but they got the win against the Lions on the road. Dennis Pitta’s return was supposed to boost this offense, but instead the Super Bowl champions managed only five field goals and no touchdowns.  They won’t be able to win like that in the playoffs.  Previous Rank: 15

17.   Detroit Lions (7-7) – The Lions have had 18 turnovers in their last five games. That’s 3.6 turnovers per game. It’s no wonder they’ve won only one game out of those five.  Previous Rank: 13

18.   Dallas Cowboys (7-7) - Where do they go after one of the biggest collapses in Cowboys history? Yes, Romo’s pick was awful timing and his fault, but it is not his fault they lost. Blame the league’s worst defense for allowing a backup quarterback to throw for nearly 300 yards and 4 TDs for a comeback win. Imagine how they would have fared against Aaron Rodgers…  Previous Rank: 16

19.   Pittsburgh Steelers (6-8) - The Steelers started strong and posted an early 24 point lead on a very good Bengals defense. They won’t make the playoffs, but they helped to play spoiler to a division rival that could have claimed the #2 seed. They end the season by playing the Packers and Browns, so they have a chance to end 8-8 like last year.  Previous Rank: 21

20.   St. Louis Rams (6-8) - Have the Rams ever had a better Sunday? They beat the Saints and locked up a top-two pick in the draft thanks to the RGIII trade with Washington. This team could be dangerous next year.  Previous Rank: 24

21.   Tennessee Titans (5-9) - Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Titans back from a 17 point deficit and forced overtime with just 10 seconds left in the game. He went 36/58 for 402 yards, 4 TDs, and 2 picks in the loss.  Previous Rank: 22

22.   Buffalo Bills (5-9) - They beat the Jaguars and EJ Manuel finished with a passer rating of 105. They played well, but they need to return to the rush-first mentality with the two star running backs they have.  Previous Rank: 27

23.   Cleveland Browns (4-10) - In typical Brown fashion, they were unable to put away the game when they had a lead on Chicago going into the fourth quarter. At least they were able to put up 31 points. If the defense can improve through the draft and they find a stable quarterback, this team could be a .500 team next year.  Previous Rank: 25

24.   New York Jets (6-8) - Geno Smith got beat up in the loss to Carolina. He got sacked four times for a loss of 27 yards and got hit eight times. It’s hard to judge Smith as the Jets’ future quarterback when he has no protection or time to throw thanks to his offensive line. Not only that, but he has very limited weapons at his disposal.  Previous Rank: 19

25.   Minnesota Vikings (4-9-1) - If NFL games were 59 minutes, the Vikings would be 9-5. Fans have to be happy with their performance against the Eagles without their best weapon of Adrian Peterson. Matt Cassel went 26/35 for 382 yards for 2 TDs and a pick.  Previous Rank: 29

26.   Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10) - After winning three straight, they dropped a tough one to the Bills. They had a chance to come back and steal the win late in the fourth quarter, but this team just wasn’t talented enough.  Previous Rank: 20

27.   New York Giants (5-9) - Eli Manning threw 5 interceptions in a scoreless effort as the Giants got absolutely spanked by the Seahawks. They were 1-10 on third down and Eli’s passer rating was 31.9, his lowest since posting a 28.3 back in 2006 against Chicago.  Previous Rank: 23

28.   Oakland Raiders (4-10) - After a weak first half, Oakland came back to make it an interesting game. They couldn’t stop Jamaal Charles, though, and now have 10+ losses in consecutive seasons.  Previous Rank: 28

29.   Atlanta Falcons (4-10) - It took the abysmal Washington defense to help Atlanta get their fourth win of the season. They still allowed Kirk Cousins to throw for 381 yards so their defense needs a lot of help for next year.  Previous Rank: 30

30.   Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10) – There was just no way the Buccs were going to be able to overcome San Francisco’s defense. Bobby Rainey followed his big performance last week by rushing for 27 yards on 11 carries.  Previous Rank: 26

31.   Houston Texans (2-12) - Case Keenum went 18/34 for 168 yards and 2 picks against a Colts defense that isn’t great. This is not an encouraging end to the season for the Texans.  Previous Rank: 31

32.   Washington Redskins (3-11) - This franchise is a mess. They lose their very early pick in this draft to the Rams and they clearly need all the new talent they can get. Kirk Cousins played very well against the Falcons, though, and may have boosted his trade value.  Previous Rank: 32

Topics: New England Patriots

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